Manti Te’o, I know exactly how you feel
Myella, my love, my mystery, my every little thing she does is magic. My-el-la: a hop, a skip, a jump in the pulse. Who played jazz bass and studied Buddhism, who walked her bulldog down the streets of Seattle, who was redheaded and pale and a little shy, but possessed of an effortlessly sexy erotic imagination. Myella, who I loved deeply, and who did not exist.
I follow football little, and college football not at all, so I first heard Manti Te’o’s name just a few days ago. But I knew precisely what “Catfish Scam”, the phrase next to his name in the headlines, meant. I saw the documentary Catfish in 2010, and writhed in sympathy and discomfort as the story unfolded of a man who had nearly fallen for a woman who did not exist, a woman created out of online avatars and late night phone calls. That man, however, knowing that something wasn’t quite right, showed up in the home town of the lonely woman behind all those romantic, long-distance phone calls and ripped away the mask of fantasy she had so carefully constructed.